Scuba Conditions: March 2021

This is the last chance lobster hunters have to catch dinner before the season closes on March 31. Photo credit: Steve Wood.

March is the last chance lobster hunters have to catch dinner before the season closes at the end of the month. Many divers have found success off local beaches in shallow water with big bugs over six pounds being caught recently.  This time of year, divers may notice an increase in the number of egg-bearing female lobster since the breeding season begins soon. The bright orange eggs are easy to spot but are sometimes overlooked so divers are wise to double check the underside of the tail for eggs, especially this time of year. Pregnant female lobster are easy to identify also since they usually keep their tail curled up, protecting the eggs underneath.  Care should be taken to avoid unnecessary damage to females during capture to increase their chances of survival and release of their offspring.

Above the surface, divers should expect weather conditions to become increasingly more favorable as the frequent cold fronts of January and February begin to subside. So far, this year has been dry with minimal rain and very little freshwater runoff from local canals so visibility on the Treasure Coast has been quite good! Passing fronts may churn the shallow water close to shore but after a few days of calm conditions this turbidity settles down and clear water returns. On incoming tide, clear water is reaching far inshore to the Stuart Sandbar and mangrove shorelines near the Fort Pierce cove. Snorkeling can be quite good here but keep in mind a snorkel is considered a ‘breathing apparatus’ and requires use of a dive flag.

Lionfish hunting is still gaining popularity too, especially with lobster hunters since the two species tend to hang out together. A short three-foot pole spear with a three-prong tip can double as a tickle stick for lobster and an effective way to dispatch lionfish at the same time without adding too much complexity to a dive. To help with safe handling, consider pinning a speared lionfish to the sand and using surgical shears to clip off spines while underwater. Ceviche is always a hit and can even be made while still out on the water for a fresh treat between dives.

Deep Six Watersports – Stuart 
(772) 288-3999 Stuart
(772) 562-2883 Vero